UK struggles for influence as Afghan crisis strains US ties

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LONDON (AP) — The messy exit of Western military forces from Afghanistan and the swift takeover of the country by the Taliban has stunned officials in Britain and strained the U.K.’s “special relationship” with its most important ally, the United States. Britain is urging the United States to extend its evacuation effort in Kabul past the Aug. 31 deadline. Prime Minister Boris Johnson plans to press President Joe Biden for an extension at an emergency summit of Group of Seven leaders on Tuesday. Biden has left open the possibility. But the Taliban call the date a “red line.” British say the international airlift won’t be able to continue once U.S. troops depart.  

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